Why You Should Design Build – Find Out the Benefits to You

Word on the street has it that the only fellows who don’t long to build their own homes are those who already have.”This project came in a way over my expected budget… The latrine was constructed in the wrong place, the kitchen is too tiny” such complaints are often aired out as soon as a home is worked to completion or during the building period.

Constructing a home might be what you really want; however, it may turn out frustrating if you haven’t thought of what to expect. No matter how perfectly you have planned, unexpected issues may arise and when dealing with a wide range of people, communication becomes a challenge at some point. Although one can never prevent sudden surprises, having a guiding factor while building your home makes the process run much smoother. Going the design build way is the best way to go. Putting down the design of the project handled by the same company helps to ensure the challenges faced are reduced to a manageable level.

What is design build all about? This is a method involving project delivery whereby one company (the guiding factor) provides their client with both design and construction services. There major benefits to this method of home building include:

An Early Approximation of the Construction Costs

This method ensures the client gets a rough idea of the entire project much earlier than in other service delivery systems. The company responsible for the project takes full responsibility of the design phase and further takes note of construction costs. Additionally, it plans a budget for the project. Generally, the guiding company simultaneously designs and estimates according to the prearranged budget. As an advantage, this process allows for an early change of decisions which greatly affect the ultimate outcome.


The home owner looks to a company which he gives full responsibility of adhering to the set budget, timing and scheduling, quality control, and performance of the whole project. The ultimate results are nothing less of: total cost control, well defined responsibility, and ASAP attention if need arises. Who wouldn’t want to see things running this smooth?

Saves More Time and Money

The company’s designers and contractors discuss the materials and ideas that would work to your advantage in terms of budget. For the obvious reason that design and construction go side by side, the average design and construction period may be significantly reduced minimizing the overall cost. With the two teams working hand in hand, the construction procedure may commence before the necessary construction credentials are fully completed. Think of the slogan “Time saved equals money saved”

Reduced Client Managerial Time and Effort

During the phases of design and construction, the homeowner is not called upon to spend their time or money in coordinating staff and making any arrangements. All this is catered for by the company staff. The homeowner may only be called upon if the need for making crucial decisions arises.

4 Practical Home Renovations That Significantly Increase Your Home Value

Since the margins in the real estate resale are usually high, more and more people are deciding to sell their homes for profits. Do you know that you can make good money just by reselling old homes? But this is not simple as that. You will surely have to invest some money on home renovations which can boost the resale value of your home. Also, the kitchen is the integral part of a home and must be renovated before selling. For this, you may need to consult kitchen designers in your area. The most important thing is to acknowledge that not all the home improvements can add value to your home.

Common Renovations that Add Tremendous Value to a House

1. Kitchen Renovation
Kitchen is considered as the heart of the home. Investing in it will surely recover your money. However, don’t spend lavishly on the kitchen renovations. People sometimes put extra efforts to give their kitchen a luxurious look which is not recommended. It is less likely a chance that you will be able to sell a house just because it is having a deluxe kitchen. Instead of spending heavily on the countertops to make a fancy kitchen, try to make a symmetry of the kitchen with the rest of the household.

One more trick which adds value to your kitchen is energy appliances. By replacing older appliances with new star rated appliances will boost the value of your home. Potential customers always prefer to save some money and your new star energy rated appliances will solve their purpose.

2. Adding An Extra Bathroom
If there is only one bathroom in your home, you can expect a 30-40% hike on your spending just by adding one washroom to your home. You can choose one bathroom as a half-bath while the other a full bath. For bathtub, the required area must be 35 sq ft. Add elegant sinks and use Eco-friendly paints wherever required. This will significantly raise the value of your home.

3. Reinventing a Room
Reinvent the space within your home that can be utilized to build another room. This idea may seem weird to you but it can attract some extra money from a potential buyer. Most of the times the space is under utilized in an attic or a basement. Make a good use of it and give your property value a hike.

4. Replacing Old Windows
For most of the buyers, energy efficient homes attract while the old fashioned windows can be a major turn off. Energy efficient windows can help you save bucks by minimizing the use of power which can help you recover your invested money.

There are numerous options which can add value to your home. However, it also depends on the market conditions. It is wise to make a resale decision when the real estate market growth is on a step rise. This will help you give a better return on investments.

Vertical Platform Lifts Provide a Safer Option for Aging in Place

Vertical platform lifts that raise a wheelchair from the ground up to a porch, deck, or doorway are often the perfect mobility solution for those unable to climb stairs. Even if you have equipped your home to age in place, you may be challenged when entering and leaving the home.

The Slippery Slope of Ramp Safety

For many homes, adding a ramp is a perfect solution to increasing access, but ramps have two main shortcomings:

  • First, they must be the proper slope to be useful.
  • Unless covered, they can easily become slippery and dangerous.

According to standards set down by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a wheelchair ramp must have a slope with a ratio of no more than 1 to 12, which means that the ramp must be one inch long for every inch of rise. This means a 20 foot ramp for a 20 inch rise. For home use, the standards are a bit less stringent but still require a 2 to 12 ratio for the ramp, which means a 10 foot ramp for a 20 inch rise. Ramps need plenty of space. To make the ramp end in a convenient location, such as near where a person would need to be to access the car, it is often necessary to form a maze with one or more turning platforms to keep the slope in line with the recommended specs. Making ramps practical takes plenty of land.

When constructed at home, an uncovered ramp can become a personal ski slope. When snow, ice, or even rain make the ramp too slippery, a person descending it in a wheelchair might pick up speed and be thrown from the chair or sent beyond where they wanted to stop. When trying to wheel up the ramp, the process can be even more dangerous.

Vertical Platform Lifts Provide a Safer Solution

For many homes, a more practical solution is to install a vertical platform lift, a type of self-contained elevator that has sides but no top. With an entry door on one level and another door on a second-level, a person in a wheelchair and another person can ride between levels. Vertical lifts are often used for transportation up to six feet off the ground. While the unit needs a footprint of about four foot by six foot for a three by four platform, the amount of space required is less and is confined to a smaller, more compact part of the yard. Especially when the distance from the home to the ground is more than 24 inches, a platform lift has a much smaller footprint.

Many vertical platform lifts can handle up to 600 pounds. Made of powder coated materials, they can be topped with a domed roof or other coverage to make them more weather resistant. The device is equipped with safety features for easy operation, even by someone in a wheelchair. To prevent crashing into an obstacle, the lift features safety sensors in the base that will stop the lift if there is something in the way. It is also covered by ASME safety standards.

More costly than ramps, vertical lifts often cost between $4,500 – $6,500 plus installation costs. By comparison, it cost less than half of installing an elevator inside the home. While this is a sizable investment, vertical platform lifts represent an investment that you can easily amortize over the extra years that you or a wheelchair-bound family member can live in the home.

Tips On How To Reduce The Cost of Constructing a House

While it’s expensive to construct a house, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend all of your money in the project. Here are tips on how to save on the construction costs:

Go Over the Project

Here you need to call the contractor and go over the construction schedule. When you meet the contractor you should ask him/her to break down all the costs involved. To operate on budget you shouldn’t be shy to ask any question that you don’t understand.

Remember that contractors tend to include other things that you might not be interested in. If you find something that you don’t want, you should ask the contractor to get rid of it immediately.


There is no harm in negotiating with the various stakeholders in the construction process. One of the most important persons that you should negotiate with is the contractor. Here you should ask the contractor to cut the cost that he/she is charging. You should also negotiate with the suppliers of the various materials that you need. To increase the chances of attracting discounts, it’s wise that you buy the materials in bulk.

Source Your Own Materials

It’s possible to find certain materials such as fixtures, cabinets, and door knobs selling at much lower prices. All you need to do is to visit a manufacturing firm and ask them to sell you the materials at lower prices.

To avoid any misunderstanding you should agree with your contractor before you start the project. As rule of thumb ensure that you always consult the contractor before buying any material. This is to ensure that you buy the right product.

Change the Shape of the House

Did you know that the shape of the house greatly affects the cost of construction? A house with many corners and angles tends to require a lot of materials and labor. To reduce the cost you need to sit down with your architect and reduce the number of corners in the house. For ideal results you should go for a house that is rectangular or dome shaped.

Consider Prefab

Prefabricated homes cut your construction costs by a huge margin; therefore, you should highly consider them. All you need to do is to find a contractor who knows how to work with shipping containers. To prevent your house from being demolished it’s wise that you first check if the area building codes allow you to use the containers.

The Procedure of Getting House Plans by an Architect

Architects are of great importance when you are planning of constructing a house. A professional architect can wear many hats depending on the project. For example, if you are handling a small project, the professional can manage all the activities involved. For example, he can create the design, select the materials that will be used on the project and supervise the entire construction process.

If the project is large, the professional will only draft a blueprint. If you can find blueprints that are similar to the house that you are planning of constructing, you should hire an architect to make the necessary alterations.

Procedure of Getting House Plans

You need to start sitting down with your architect and discuss the type and design of the house that you are interested in. To understand your needs the architect will need to know a number of things such as:

  • Where you want your family to watch television
  • How the dining room is of importance to you
  • Whether you like hosting parties
  • Whether you spend a lot of time in the bedroom
  • Whether you would like to have a specific area for your computer

After the professional has understood your needs, he will draw a plan of your house and take it to the necessary authorities for approval. Once approved, you will be free to start constructing your house. To ensure that the work is done according to plan, the professional will be regularly visiting the construction site. If you need to make any changes to the plan, you need to first consult the architect.

When You Hire the Wrong Architect

It’s possible to hire the wrong architect especially when you don’t do the right background check on the professional. Experts recommend that you should also consider the personality of the individual. This means that even if the professional is highly qualified you shouldn’t hire him if he doesn’t have a great personality.

One of the major signs that you have hired the wrong person is when the architect doesn’t want to listen to your needs. The professional may also be too busy for you. When you realize that you have hired the wrong person you should cut the cord as soon as possible. All you need to do is to pay the professional for the time that he/she invested in your project and go ahead and look for the right person.


For you to have an easy time with the architect you should do thorough research. Always trust your gut feelings. If you feel that the professional isn’t right for you, you should go with your feeling.